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Welcome, Brave Middle School teachers! Introduce yourself...

Welcome, Brave Middle School teachers! Introduce yourself...

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Hey, all you brave tween teachers out there! Welcome to the Edutopia discussion forum. Please introduce yourself a little before exploring our other discussions. I am your moderator, Heather Wolpert-Gawron, middle school teacher by day and author/blogger at night. I was a California Regional Teacher of the Year in 2004, a Writing Project Fellow at the University of California at Irvine, and am a member of the Teacher Leaders Network. I'm a frequent contributor to Teacher Magazine and a staff blogger here at Edutopia. I also blog at www.tweenteacher.com. I currently teach 7th and 8th Grade Language Arts as well as 7th/8th Speech & Debate/Podcasting. Multiple-intelligences, differentiated instruction, Writer’s Workshop, student collaboration, student choice, and fluid grouping define much of my classroom instruction. I look forward to talking about all of these topics and more here in the middle school forum. So please comment a little about who you are, what you're about as a teacher, and what brought you to Edutopia and our middle school forum. For me, it's all about learning from each of you. So challenge yourself to participate in the forum: comment, advise, criticize. Allow the Middle School forum here at Edutopia to be your brain spa of sorts. I look forward to meeting you all. -Heather Wolpert-Gawron

This post was created by a member of Edutopia's community. If you have your own #eduawesome tips, strategies, and ideas for improving education, share them with us.

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Comments (155)Sign in or register to postSubscribe to comments via RSS

Christy Dumas's picture

I am so jealous of you. All I can say about the technology at my school is: Tech guy:power-trip:EVERYTHING blocked!!!! I do hopefully have some better weapons to use against him this year. I am currently on my state's standards committee and we we're discussing the fact that my students are missing out on so many things. I was given the "head" person of our state dept., so hopefully I can get something done and soon.

Barbara Schultheis's picture

Yes! I love middle school! I thought that I wanted to teach Kindergarten, until I student taught 5 year olds. My first teaching job was seventh grade language arts and social studies. That was 11 years ago and I have never looked back! Middle schoolers keep me young and keep me laughing! I love projects based learning and also inject much creativity and art into my curriculum. I work in a charter school where I am the only language arts teacher, so I have freedom to choose curriculum that I believe will be important and relevant to my students. I'm looking forward to learning and sharing information with other middle school teachers!

Garth Holman's picture
Garth Holman
7th Grade Social Studies teacher and professor at U of Akron Northeast Ohio

Hi, I love middle school. Been teaching Middle School for 16 years and had many chances to "move up", but middle school is where it is at. I have been at a one to one laptop school for 8 years (I ran the the program for one year and then we went whole school). I have been working hard on PBL's and 21St century skills. I have reached out to other middle schools for projects via skype, google docs, wikispaces, twitter, etc. Check out a blog I run with another middle school teacher about 35 miles from me where we have built a standards based textbook and engage our students weekly in communication via the web. The blog it at www.teachersfortomorrow.net or check me out on twitter: garthholman

Always looking for others to work with and engage students in content.

Cheers, Garth

John Kazmaier's picture
John Kazmaier
Math Teacher

I am a middle school math teacher from Toledo, Ohio and am very new to this sort of thing. I teach 7th or 8th grade math depending on the year as our district just started looping in the junior highs. I'm actually real excited to see how this next year goes as it will be the second year in the loop...so now my 7th graders will be 8th graders! I can't wait to see the changes! :) I am trying to incorporate technology into my classroom as much as possible, though I find it hard at times with limited computer resources and a subject area that takes a LOT of digging to find quality content. I actually just started my master's degree online and that's how I came to join this particular site as part of an assignment and hope that I can get lots of insight from all over the world! Thanks!

Kathy Hoover's picture
Kathy Hoover
Seventh grade Language Arts teacher for Reynoldsburg City Schools, Ohio

After twelve years teaching high school English (grades 9-12), I will be teaching 7th grade Language Arts this fall! Exciting, eh? I am VERY happy to find this group, and thrilled with all the positive comments made here about working with 7th graders! I did a lot of substitute teaching at the middle school level when my own children were that age, and I enjoyed it immensely, so I feel positive about working with younger children. But, I'll be stopping in here for ideas and advice, I am sure!!! (Middle School is 5/6, and JH is 7/8 in our district.)

Joan Colonna's picture

After 11 years teaching third grade, I will be teaching 8th grade Language Arts/Reading and a 7th grade Language Arts GT class. I'm very excited about my new adventure as Language Arts is a real love of mine! Honestly though, it's a bit scary since it is such a big change for me. I have been doing a great deal of reading and studying to prepare but still feel I am looking into a bit of a "black hole." This will be the first year that our school has separated Language Arts and Reading. So, there aren't many specific answers to my questions here. I'm looking for all of the advice and information I can get!

Diane Randgaard's picture
Diane Randgaard
7th & 8th grade math teacher

I have taught upper elementary for nine years, and this year I will teach 7th and 8th grade math. Due to budget cuts, I will also teach one period of health/PE. I am looking forward to sharing information in this forum regarding math instruction, social/emotional learning, and technology integration. After a mellow summer, it's nice to get my brain fired up again.

Heather Wolpert-Gawron's picture

Howdy from your facilitator, Heather. I hope that over these last few months you've gotten a lot out of your conversations with other middle school teachers. I want to encourage you, if you haven't already done so, to begin your own thread here in the middle school discussion group. Develop a question or comment or bring a news story to our attention. Then see who bites. Periodically, check back and try to massage the conversation or continue the dialogue by asking questions of those who commented.

It's an entirely different dimension of online participation, and the middle school discussion group here at Edutopia is a great place to try your hand.

I look forward to reading and participating myself!

-Heather Wolpert-Gawron

Lynn Y. Villyard's picture

Hello, Heather

My name is Lynn, and Im a new member to the Edutopia community; I'm also a school psychologist for middle and high school, in northeast Georgia. Looking forward to discussions with this group.

Lilly Jenkins's picture

This is my 8th year teaching and I have taught middle school the whole time... I LOVE my middle schoolers!! This is my second year back to teaching LA after teaching Intensive Reading again for two years (I taught 2 I.R. years, 1 LA year, 3 I.R. years, and now on 2nd year back to LA) - this has been a rough start to the new school year, for some reason.... I know that I am not the only one feeling this way at my school, but it is so frustrating!
We are in Correct Two from FLDOE and so we have a ton of hoops to jump through, besides doing our billions of other tasks... PLUS we are in full inclusion this year... so much to do!!! Any and all ideas are welcome! Oh, plus I am in the last four weeks of my second Masters' Degree (TESOL)... can't wait to be done...

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